Monday, April 25, 2011

Rumpelstiltskin Riches - In the Garden

(Rumpelstiltskin Riches, a monthly feature of The Sage Butterfly blog, describes ways to reuse common items.)

When we think we have used something up in the garden, there just may be another use for it. Or something around the house may be reused in the garden.

Garden Gloves

- When holes appear, darn them as you would socks. Here's a video on how to darn a sock or darn anything:

Egg Cartons

- A great way to reuse egg cartons is to use them for planting seeds. Punch a drainage hole in the bottom of each egg pocket, fill with soil, and plant seeds. Be sure to keep everything moist.

Garden Hoses

- Punch a few holes in a garden hose and use as a makeshift soaker hose.

- Use a slit hose to cover and protect the trunk of a young tree.


- Newspaper is a great way to get rid of weeds in a flower bed. Spread the newspaper over the weeds and top with mulch. The newspaper kills the weeds and then decomposes to add nutrients to your plants.

Nylon Stockings

- Got a run in your pantyhose? Cut them up into strips and use them to stake your tomato plants.

- Store plant bulbs in nylon stockings to keep them dry.

Plastic Lids

- Use plastic lids as plant saucers.

Glass Jars

- Use large glass jars as cloches to protect your tender vegetable seedlings from the cold.

Plastic Milk Carton - One Gallon

- Cut the bottom off of a plastic milk carton and use as a scoop in potting soil, sand, or compost.


- Use one part water and one part vinegar to make a mixture to kill weeds. For more stubborn weeds, use more vinegar than water.

Plastic Plant Pots

- Use plastic plant pots to scoop potting soil or compost.

- Use them as cloches to cover your tender vegetables during a cold night. Be sure to remove them in the morning when it warms up.

- Large plastic plant pots can be carried around the garden as you weed and prune.

Grass Clippings

- Use grass clippings as mulch in the vegetable garden. If seeds are a concern, add them to the compost pile.

Old Birdhouses

- Old birdhouses can be placed on the ground to offer a protected place for frogs and other wildlife.

Baking Soda

- Baking soda acts as a natural fungicide against Black Spot or White Powdery Mildew on plants. Mix 4 teaspoons of baking soda to one gallon of milk and spray on plants. If you want the mixture to have a little more staying power, add a teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent or horticultural oil to the mixture.

Compact Discs

- After spreading grass seed on the lawn, tie compact discs to shrubs and tree branches to deter birds from eating the seed. The movement and the glint from the reflection of the sun as it moves will scare them away.

What are some of your ideas for reusing in the garden?
©Michelle A. Potter

Related Post:
Rumpelstiltskin Riches - March


  1. more great ideas to use...wonderful...I will be trying the vinegar trick...I wonder though if you have to be careful near other plants??

  2. Some great ideas here.
    My husband is an ace darner(he was taught by his Grandmother. it's very handy for all the holes made in my jumpersby a certain feline friend!

  3. Good ideas! I have been wanting to try the CD trick for some time now...maybe this summer..

  4. @Donna Thanks, Donna. The vinegar really does careful around other plants. Happy weeding!

  5. @Janet That is great that your husband is so good at darning. What a treat!

  6. @Hanni @ Sweet Bean Gardening We tried it a few years ago, and it works. It often gave me a start when the sun would reflect back, but I got used to it. Thank you for stopping by.

  7. Very helpful post. Reminding me of some stuff I can used in the garden which I always forget that I have collected them.

  8. Rumpelstilzchens Reichtümer, wonderful!
    Rumpelstilzchen is one of my favorite fairytales, I sometimes feel like the miller's daughter ;-) when I try to spirit off the slugs on my vegetable patch. I use all my old preserving glasses to cover and protect young lettuce, but an idea how to spin the straw into gold is still up in the air.
    Liebe Grüße

  9. some great suggestions! I have considered the CD's idea before, also. Darning is an old skill, my grandmother taught me.

  10. @Sisah Hello Sisah...I also wish I could find that secret to spinning straw into gold. :) Danke!

  11. @lifeshighway You are one of the lucky ones to have learned such a great skill. It comes in handy. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. @Malay-Kadazan girl I am so glad you were able to discover some new ideas. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Very informative and useful information. Thank you for posting this. I dont know why I have yet to think of using egg crates for seeds. It's a great way to recycle and saves me a few dollars. :)

  14. @Anya I am glad you discovered something new. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. LOVE this list of ideas!!! I didn't know about the baking soda until now and since my garden is organic this is the perfect solution for my many rosebushes. Thank you!!!!!!

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  16. Great ideas! I am definitely going to try a few ideas out- the egg carton and the glass jar are a amongst my favorites.

  17. @Cindy Garber Iverson Cindy, I garden organically as well, and I was also glad to find a way to make a natural fungicide. BTW...your roses are lovely. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. @Jennifer@threedogsinagarden Jennifer, I have so many glass jars that I have saved over the years. I keep finding new uses for them. I am so glad you found something you could use.

  19. Thank you so much for these great tips! I particularly like the one about starting seeds in an egg carton ...

  20. Sorry for being late here, But wow, I love your blog and your green ideas. Thank you for inviting me. I would love to keep coming back for more.

  21. @Sheila I am so glad you liked the tips. Thanks for visiting.

  22. @Preethi Prabhu Hi Preethi. Thanks for your kind comment, and I look forward to your visit again.

  23. Such a great collection of tips!

    y husband would die if he saw this...we have a running joke about my learning how to darn socks :)

  24. Yes, yes and yes! I just interviewed a darner "in business" over at my blog. He offers a few tips.

    and I pasted in this exact same video!! @:-)


'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
ondragstart="return false" onselectstart="return false"